1. Explain the innovations that helped Coca-Cola go from being a tasty drink at local pharmacies to a powerful national company.
Asa Candler's decision to spend vast sums of money on advertising brought national awareness to the brand and built curiosity in consumers' minds. By bottling the drink and allowing consumers to have access to the beverage away from soda fountains, Coca-Cola greatly expanded the demand for their product.
2. One of the ultimate pinnacles in a company's legacy is for their product to become a commonly used verb, or the generic name of an object. List as many products like this as you can, then explain what it means for a company's product to become a generic term.
Answers will vary. Students may be shocked to hear that Xerox, Band-aid, Jacuzzi, Crock-Pot, and Jet Ski are all trademarked brands. For a company, having your brand name used as a generic term gives that product an air of stability and quality. It also is very familiar to consumers and harder for other companies to compete with. A company doesn't need to advertise its product very much when everyone calls lip balm Chapstick or tissues Kleenex.
3. What role did World War II play in Coke's growth?
As Rick Allen explains, troops overseas wanted a handful of things from back home: cigarettes, chewing gum, letters from their sweethearts, and Coca-Cola. When they came back from the war, an entire generation of young people had developed fierce loyalties to Coca-Cola and passed those product preferences onto others.